3 Places to Get Baby Chicks for Your Homestead

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Spring is a great time to add some chickens to your homestead! Here are 3 sources where you can get baby chicks, depending on your needs and priorities…

Spring and summer are the best times of the year for getting (or hatching) new baby chicks, which need at least a few weeks of warm weather to grow out their feathers. You will need to start your chicks off under a heat lamp (unless they are sitting under their mother), and gradually acclimate them to the outdoors by the time they are 6-8 weeks old.

Assuming you are raising the chicks yourself, rather than letting a mother hen do it, you will need a few basic supplies besides a heat lamp, including a safe, confined space for your chicks to live (and a bigger space for once they start to grow, which happens fast!), a thermometer to monitor the temperature of their home, shavings, straw, or other bedding materials, a small dish or chick feeder, a chick waterer, and of course, chick feed. (See this post on setting up a chick brooder for more details.) Make sure to plan ahead and have all these things on hand before you order your chicks!

Once you have all your supplies, you’re ready to get some chicks! There are a number of places to get baby chicks, depending on your priorities. Here are 3 suggestions from Fresh Eggs Daily:

If you are only looking for hens (or female chickens), then your best best is to order them from a reputable hatchery such as My Pet Chicken. They offer “sexed” chicks (that means you can choose either females or males) and guarantee a 90% accuracy rate.

They have a wonderful selection of various breeds, let you mix and match, and only require a low minimum number of chicks purchased per order (often just three).  They will ship your chicks to you anywhere in the country; you just go to your local post office to pick them up when they arrive.

Another option is to visit your local feed store. Depending on the store, they might have the chicks separated by sex and breed, or they might have them listed as “straight run” which means the males and females are mixed in together. If you definitely don’t want roosters, you will want to avoid the “straight run” tub!

Craig’s List or a local farm are also places to check for baby chicks, but you will be taking your chance in many cases as to not only the breed but the sex you might be getting. You might not end up with true purebred chicken breeds, but if you’re just looking for some baby chicks that will grow up to  be nice laying hens for you, that’s likely going to be an inexpensive source for baby chicks.

Read more about raising baby chicks at FreshEggsDaily.com

 

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